The average rating for Simply Shameless based on 2 reviews is 4 stars.
|Review # 1 was written on 2008-12-09 00:00:00|
I enjoyed this book immensely. Once I started reading I had a hard time putting it down and ended up reading the whole thing in one day. I'd probably have to say that this is my favorite of the series so far. Series Note: This book is the third in the House of Pleasure series (historical erotic romance), but can likely be read as a stand-alone with no problems. There are some references to past events and characters, but the story is pretty independent. I believe there is also a cameo from a character from one of Pearce's Ellora's Cave books - not entirely sure on that, though. In the previous two books of this series, the characters visited an exclusive, private pleasure house where they could explore their sexuality freely. The proprietor of the house was Madame Helene Delornay. In Simply Shameless, readers get to learn Helene's story. Helene has a tragic past. Her family was imprisoned during the french revolution and Helene watched as each was taken to their death. Her life was spared so that she could be a whore for the guards. After two years of that she manages to find a way out through a older protector. And after he dies, she travels to England to seek help from some people she once helped. Before she arrives in London, she shares a coach ride with a handsome young gentleman, Philip Ross. A snowstorm leads to a weekend of passion before the two go their separate ways. Years later, Helene is the successful part owner of Madame Helene's House of Pleasure. The place is not a brothel, but an exclusive private club where members of the ton can come together to explore their sexuality and fantasies. The last thing she expects one night is for Philip Ross to show up, and then she finds out that he has inherited shares in the club from one of the original partners who just passed away. Philip is not the man she once new. A horrible marriage has turned him into someone who denies his sexuality. But the passion between them still exists and it isn't long before Philip is learning to be the man he once was. And both are coming to find that there is more between them than lust, but can they find happiness considering the lives they lead? Erotic romance books tend to be hit or miss for me. So many are just pages of copious, gratuitous sex without much else going on. Which gets boring and repetitive. This series by Kate Pearce, while still very sexual, is much more well-rounded. There's an actual story with the characters...a romance, emotions, angst, turmoil. And that balances out all the sex and makes the story much more interesting. While reading the books in this series, and especially this last one, I've never once been bored. I've been sucked into the story, the characters, etc. I have to admit that when I first saw, quite a while back, that this book was to be about Madame Helene, owner of the pleasure house, that I was a bit unsure of how she would work out as the heroine of a story. She seemed nice enough, but turning the female owner of a sex club in historical England into a heroine isn't typical. So I wasn't sure if the story would work. But author Kate Pearce did an excellent job with Helene. She had a backstory that made her situation in life make sense. She was a proud, independent woman who overcame tragedy and saw no shame in exploring ones sexuality. Helene was just a very likable heroine and she really worked as the lead in a book. I was pleasantly surprised. The character of Philip was intriguing as well. He's got some interesting hang-ups, caused by a traumatic marriage. I thought that Pearce added a nice dimension to the story with what she did with Philip. Definitely a bit atypical there. And it made for some great character development. Plus, he and Helene together were great. Fantastic chemistry between the two. I liked that Helene gave him freedom to explore his sexuality and that she realized she could trust him and submit to him. There was just a really great dynamic between them. I also enjoyed the other elements of the story. Helene's oldest daughter elopes and then has...problems, needing her mother. And Helene's twin 18 year-olds have to come to terms with what their mother does. Plus there was an issue with an old friend of Helene's. All those things added depth to the story and kept it from being a shallow sex-fest. And speaking of sex...there's definitely some hot stuff in this book. I would say that this book is probably not as sexually based as the other two, but it's still damn hot. And since most of the book takes place at the pleasure house, there are a lot of references to what acts others are committing...so it's not really a book for the closed-minded. All around this was just a really good book. I had not complaints at all when I finished. I loved the romance, the characters, the story...every part hooked me in. If you're a fan of historical erotic romance, then this is definitely a series to try. I'm really looking forward to the next book, Simply Wicked, which will be Anthony Sokorvsky's story. I've heard it will be a darker tale...not surprising considering what readers know about poor Anthony. But I'll definitely be buying it as soon as it comes out. Side note: though this is a historical erotic romance, the author tends to use more modern language, at least in a sexual sense. Which is worth mentioning since readers tend to have a preference in this area. WARNING, this book contains: explicit sex and language, oral sex, anal sex, toys & toys used on men, ass play, bondage, spanking, and m/m oral sex. Also there are references to m/m sex, f/f sex, BDSM, sex involving a minor (Helene's past), group sex...etc etc etc...you get the picture, right?
|Review # 2 was written on 2016-11-02 00:00:00|
7 out of 10 This is my 7th (!) book in this series (including bonuses) and I'm still intrigued to continue with it. First installments were very sex-centered, but I've seen their depth and wanted Kate Pearce to give me more of psychological side of her work. And here we are! I like how bold and thoughtful the author is, what kind of problems she does bring up, how she sees people's sexuality. And I adore (yeah, I'm that perv) the idea of House of Pleasure. What a place! There's no prostitution, only wealthy men and women who come to a private club to find somebody with the same fantasies they do have. Clients themselves pleasure each other, by mutual consent only. The more I find out of the House's structure, the more I admire it. I, for one, won't go to the top floor, but there are people for whom such an extreme sex means joy and here they can free safe. Isn't it great? There's also a room for those how ashamed of their possible desires. It's a completely dark place there you won't see who came to give you what you crave and this person won't see you. Pure anonymity. And that's just a hint of what the House can offer. By the by, this particular book is about its owner and mastermind Madame Helene. And I swear, if not for very explicit content I'd recommend this series to masses for its awesome plot, well-conceived heroes and serious topics, but this read is not for everyone. You have to be open-minded, curious and ready for unusual problems and situations the characters live with and in. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes it's really painful, while sometimes it's even disgusting. But the main law of House of Pleasure holds that you don't have to do anything you're don't want to or aren't ready for. So the choice is all yours.
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